Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Meeting With Military Officials

Moscow Domestic Service in Russian 1630 GMT 4 Jul 72

[Text] Fidel Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Central Committee of the
Cuban Communist Party and prime minister of the Revolutionary Government of
the Republic of Cuba, and the party and state leaders accompanying him
today met generals, admirals and officers of the USSR Ministry of Defense.

The following participated in the meeting: Marshal of the Soviet Union
Yakubovskiy, first deputy minister of defense of the USSR; Army General
Kulikov, general chief of staff of the USSR armed forces; Army General
Yepishev, head of the chief political directorate of the Soviet Army and
Navy; Army General Sokolov, first deputy minister of defense of the USSR,
and others.

Marshal of the Soviet Union Grechko, USSR minister of defense, cordially
welcomed the guests, conveyed greetings to them from the armed forces of
the Soviet Union and wished them good health and every success in the
building of socialism in Cuba.

Addressing himself to Fidel Castro, the minister said: "Today we greet you
not only as a fighter against imperialism but as an outstanding military
leader, a leader of the armed struggle of the Cuban people. Soviet
servicemen cherish feeling of deep respect for the Cuban people and its
armed forces. We always rejoice at your successes and are always ready to
come to your aid.

As a token of the strong and unbreakable friendship of the peoples of the
Soviet Union and Cuba and of their armed forces, Grechko presented Fidel
Castro with a sword of honor.

On behalf of the USSR general staff officers, Col Kurgozov greeted Fidel
Castro and members of the Cuban delegation. A speech by Fidel Castro Ruz
was warmly received.

We appreciate the value of your presence, he said. This sword is a symbol
of the army, which stands guard over the countries of the socialist camp
and the whole revolutionary movement, a symbol of our friendship.

Comrade Fidel Castro talked about the development of the Cuban armed
forces, stressing the tremendous help that has been given and is still
being given by the Soviet Union. At the most difficult times in our
history, he said, you have always been by our side. This is why we regard
the Soviet Union and its armed forces with such respect and admiration.

Fidel Castro then spoke of his impressions of the visit to the Soviet
Union. He said he is confident that in the future, too, cooperation between
the Soviet Union and Cuba and between their armed forces will develop and

Marshal of the Soviet Union Grechko thanked Comrade Fidel Castro for the
warm words he had for the Soviet armed forces. Then the minister presented
a present to mark the occasion to Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, member of the
secretariat of the Cuban Communist Party Central Committee and minister of
the Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Cuba.